As parents, we all want to nurture the creativity we see in our children. We want to watch them grow and explore and understand the world in imaginative ways, but sometimes it can be hard to work out how best to tap into that creativity. A big sheet of paper and some wax crayons is a great start, but as your child grows and starts facing new challenges in life, you might be trying to think of ways to make those challenges seem inventive and fun.
1. Encourage them to investigate
Almost every child quickly falls in love with the idea of being a great detective. Complete with a magnifying glass and deerstalker, this might be one of the best ways for you to get your kid thinking.
A treasure hunt or puzzle which they need to riddle out can be a fantastic way to get their brains turning and their creative juices flowing – especially if there’s a little prize at the end.
2. Adapt a board game
If your child has a board game that they love, but it’s getting a bit tired, encourage them to get creative with the rules. Ask them what they think would make it more fun, and try this out.
You might make the rule that anyone who rolls a six gets another turn, or that players who throw a two have to tell a joke. “You could get your kids to invent new cards in a card game, or ask them to draw some player tokens for a board game.
This sort of engagement encourages them to question the rules and think about how things could be different,” says Samuel R. White, an educator from Australia2Write.
3. Add a twist to a guessing game
Instead of just playing who’s-who, break out the craft stuff and get creative – set a theme, and start making things to guess that fall within that theme. You could get your child to model an animal, and then try to guess what they have made.
You might ask them to draw an iconic scene and try to guess the film it’s from. Adding creative twists can make these games more focused and varied.
4. Expand your reading
If your kid loves a particular book, find other ways to incorporate this into your creative time. You might make some finger puppets of the characters, or encourage your child to dress up as them.
“You could suggest they try speaking like that character for an hour, or that they rewrite some of the story for that character. This encourages deep thinking about the book, and helps increase fluidity between craft activities,” suggests Mike R. Layne, a teacher from BritStudent.
5. Move between subjects
Use different forms to express ideas. If your kid draws something, encourage them to model it with clay, and then to write it as a story. For a bigger challenge, ask them to turn it into a tapping rhythm, or to hum it out.
Get them to show you what their drawing would look like as a dance. Keep interpreting the same idea in different ways, and see what comes out of it.